It was only a matter of time before this beuty came up and with news of Jaguar replacing Trulli in Formula E still fresh in our memories, let’s have a look at what is one of the most universally liked liveries in the history of Formula 1.
From 1997 to 1999, Ford supplied engines to Stewart Grand Prix, in what proved to be a reasonably successful partnership at times. However, for the 2000 season, they bought the team from Sir Jackie and branded it Jaguar. They held onto Johnny Herbert and brought in Eddie Irvine, who was newly released from Ferrari. A solid, experienced pair for the new era.
Unfortunately, apart from the new Jaguar name, the team’s form continued to be mediocre all the way through to the end of their F1 stint in 2004 (until a certain Red Bull came along) and impressive results were few and far between during this time. The one thing that did consistently impress, however, was the famous green livery.
Not many teams have used green as a main colour for their liveries through the years, and any team that uses or has used green since will provoke memories of the Jaguar cars. These liveries are all very similar and all are fantastic, but my narrow winner for favourite has to be the original, the R1.
Firstly, what a brilliant choice of colour. British racing green as it is called, is a lovely deep green, slightly reflective and metallic, and just beautifully classy. The Jaguar outline on the engine cover, which was carried on in a way by the “Red Bull” now that I think of it, is low key, sleek and adds a bit of spark to an otherwise low key livery. The main design element however, is the thick white area which goes along the length the side, from the sidepod to the nose. It is bordered by a pinstripe of red and the whole area is a pefect fit with the green, breaking it up very well. I only wish it had ended closer to the tip of the nose rather than at the front wing mounts.
The important thing with this livery is that all the sponsors fit well. It has to be said, HSBC looked great on the Stewart too and despite the logo mostly being in black, having it on a white background makes it fit in seamlessly. What took this over the line in comparison to the later liveries are the Becks logo, which looked a little overstated on the 2001 car and the blue EDS logos on the front wing in the 2001-2003 cars, whereas the red DHL logo matches far better.
An interesting design element on this livery is the gradient on the front wing. It sharply fades from green to white, which is interesting, but doesn’t quite suit the car and looks out of place quite frankly. It’s odd and perhaps something you wouldn’t have noticed at first glance.
The R5 livery was also a very nice livery. It was the most different of the five as it didn’t use any of the letters in HSBC logo, and it worked very well, but something about having the letters on the R1 livery make it feel more complete for me. Then again, the more I look at it, the less sure I am which livery is my favourite!
Unfortunately, if the render shown with the press release is anything to go by, they won’t be going down the same path. It looks like another ‘futuristic’, electronic livery will be present on the grid next season, which is a theme that is quickly becoming common and tired. A shame because it is a nice livery, but lacks any originality. However, they’ve only just announced their participation, so there is still hope of seeing British racing green in a top single seater series once again!